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One of the most important processes a story goes through is editing. No one, not even professional writers, write without editing their pieces very thoroughly. It guarantees that the products that their readers are seeing are polished and the very best versions of the piece they wrote. There is a reason that we call first drafts ‘rough’ drafts. Usually, those drafts are riddled with spelling, and plot errors. Rough drafts are where you spill all your ideas. You write down everything that you want your story to be: and then you edit it until you find a version that you love.

Of course, not everyone is trained to be an editor. Most writers will cease to see their mistakes after sitting with their draft with such a long time. They will miss them or not see them at all. It’s hard to see a mistake with the plot if you have been looking at a piece for awhile.

So, instead they will ask others to look over their work for them with fresh eyes. It is easier for editors to see mistakes because they haven’t written it. They go on and look for key things in the draft. There are also many versions of editing.

Copy Editing

Copy editing is one of the most regular parts of editing. It includes checking for punctuation, spelling, and word usage. They will preserve the voice of the original piece and the meaning, as well. A professional copyeditor is acquainted with the rules of grammar and fixes mistakes with spelling, punctuation, and word usage. While you’ve read your piece excessively, an editor has not so they are able to spot mistakes a lot more quickly.

They advantage to having a copy editor is having someone check over your grammar for you. An editor who is skilled at both finding flaws in punctuation, word usage, and spelling will be able to find the mistakes in your drafts but also manage to keep the original meaning and voice of your writing. Having someone look over your work for grammatical flaws is always helpful.

Developmental Editing

Developmental editing is a heavier type of editing that includes coordinating and overlooking a project from start to finish. This type of editing could be helpful if you have ideas or an idea for a project but need help with the whole process. Developmental editing could include developing a plot or help setting deadlines. Overall, this type of editing is having an editor there with you the entire time you are writing, from start to finish.

Structural editing

Structural editing is the most in-depth parts of editing. Your editor goes over your entire manuscript, in detail, and corrects it for many things. It will be evaluated for clarity, consistency, plot, setting, flow, pacing, arc, characters, and more. This type of editing will make sure that your story passes the test. It will ensure that your characters feel real, your setting is natural, and that your readers will enjoy the read.

Your editor will very carefully go ever each of these points, and make sure that they do not miss anything.

Substantive Editing

Substantive editing is a type of editing that includes going over spelling, structure, and more. A substantive edit goes ever identifying and solving the problems of the piece. The editor will also rewrite portions of the text for clarity and organize/reorganize chapters of the manuscript. Structural edits will make sure that the plot is fully developed and that all the information is accurate and presented as such.

Line editing

Line editing is one of the next stages of editing. Line editing is there to check to style, tone and consistency of the writing. While line editing, an editor is ensuring that every sentence is working to develop the story’s mood. If not, it needs to be cut. There should be nothing in your piece that could be seen as superfluous.

Professional line editors work well at knowing how to track mood. They also know how to identify the tone and style in a piece of writing. They know how to adjust They know how to adjust your style so that an audience can see it the most effective lighting.

Working with line editor can really turn up a piece and have an audience hanging off the edge of their seats.


Proofreading is the last stage of your piece. Proofreading involves fixing final issues of the piece before it is finally published. A proofreader ensures that your piece is properly formatted, it is error free, and that it is presentable for the reader. Since this is the last stage, a proofreader must be very diligent because the product will end up in front in front of readers after their evaluation.

Things that proofreading involve: indentation, paragraph spacing, choice of fonts, and size.

It’s important to choose a diligent proofreader because the final product will end up in front of your readers, and you don’t want any mistakes to distract them from reading your story.

Self Editing

Self editing is entirely possible. Editing is not something only professional editors can do. If you are determined to edit your book, you can teach yourself how to edit. There are many resources out there that will show you how to do so. It will take time, and effort but it is entirely possible to learn how to do so.

However, it is a very technical process that takes a lot of skill and a lot of time. If you are not willing or able to put in the time, or the hours to teach yourself how to edit properly it may be a good idea to hire an editing team. There are many editors that will be willing to help you navigate your way through writing a book. Having a fresh set of eyes on your writing will also give you a new perspective, and will help you see your writing in a new way. Because an editor hasn’t been sitting with your writing as long as you have they will be able to bring something new to the table.

What now?

We can help you with all kinds of editing. Are you in need of an editor? Check out our services!

– J. Hughes.
MK Writing Services Staff Member

Different Types of Editing

2 thoughts on “Different Types of Editing

  • February 1, 2023 at 12:18 pm

    Great post. Beginning writers and non-writers think editing means finding mistakes. Your post makes the distinctions clear. I’ve written a post about Paramedic editing and will link back to this post now.

    • February 1, 2023 at 1:42 pm

      We’re glad you like the blog. Feel free to share with your audience.


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